Black Sands

by Colleen Coble
Series: Aloha Reef #2
282 pages, Mystery
Reviewed by Komonio

A romantic mystery, taking place in an exotic Hawaiian setting.


A year ago, vulcanologist Annie Tagama's brother died in the Navy and her mother committed suicide. Now, Annie lives with her father and sister, who both neglect and use her. When her sister goes missing, she has to depend on Mano Oana, the man she hates the most. He's responsible for her brother's death...but is her brother really dead?


Annie's father and sister treat her like a Cinderella. Annie complies with all their demands to keep her family together after her mother's tragic death. Her best friend, Fawn, tries to make Annie understand how wrong this is. Their friendship helps Annie to get through the challenges she encounters.

Tomi hides from the Navy and the police after making some bad choices that border on espionage. Tomi is extremely sorry for his mistakes and tries to fix them, even while running from the police.

The husband of one of Annie's friends leaves his wife and steals her research. He lies to the police and his family to save his job and his life.

Spiritual Content

Mano and Fawn are both strong Christians. At one point, Mano discusses science and the Bible with Annie's boss. Annie mentions accepting Christ when she was a child. She forgets about God though, as she puts her family's needs above her relationship with Christ. Part way through, she rededicates her life to God.

A lot of native Hawaiian people worship Hawaiian Gods. Leilani, Annie's sister, is involved in a cult that worships the god Ku. Heiau's (Hawaiian temples) are found all over, worshiping false gods. Annie is afraid that Leilani will become a human sacrifice.


The prologue tells of Adele Tagama, Annie's mother, falling into a volcano. Mano and Annie find a dead friend in a cave.

A dangerous battle happens at the very end of the book between Annie, Mano, and Leilani's kidnappers. A woman falls into a volcano after trying to murder Leilani. There's some shooting, and a man is shot in the leg. As the volcano erupts, there's a frantic race to outrun the lava that spews out.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Leilani is drugged.

Sexual Content

There's a humorous scene where Tomi is afraid of going into a bank after his bankbook was stolen because he doesn't want to be shot. He, Mano, and Annie decide to dress his up as a woman. They create a disguise for him from a dress, a wig, a pair of pillows, and some make-up. The scene is very funny. The whole cross-dressing issue may bother some people, but it's all meant to be a joke.

There's quite a bit of kissing.

Crude or Profane Language or Content



This is a fun, suspenseful, high-action love story. I was able to enjoy this book without having read the rest of the series (the story is not heavily dependent on the rest of the series). The Hawaiian setting is beautifully described. I definitely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good Christian novel.

Fun Score: 4.5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: adult

Review Rating:

Average rating: 4 stars
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